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Around the Nation
6:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

U.S. Men Held At Border With Canadian Contraband

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Two young Seattle men came back from a trip to Canada bearing gifts - six chocolate eggs known as Kinder Surprise eggs, because each has a plastic toy inside. They got their own surprise when they reached the U.S. border and agents informed them each egg carried a $2,500 fine. The men told KOMO News they were eventually allowed across without a fine and without the eggs, which are banned in the U.S. as a choking hazard. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu July 19, 2012

VIDEO: 'God's Plan' Led To Deadly Encounter With Trayvon, Zimmerman Says

George Zimmerman during his interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
FoxNews.com

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 9:23 am

While he is sorry that Trayvon Martin ended up dead, George Zimmerman says he doesn't regret anything he did the evening of Feb. 26 and that it was "God's plan" that he would end up killing the unarmed 17-year-old.

"For me to second guess it or judge it" would be wrong, Zimmerman told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity in a pre-recorded and edited interview broadcast Wednesday night.

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Around the Nation
6:30 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Hasselhoff Photos Stolen From Store's Ad Campaign

Cumberland Farms put giant photo cutouts of David Hasselhoff in front of their stores across New England and Florida. The 60-year-old star of Baywatch and Knight Rider is shown smiling, wearing a tank top and promoting iced coffee. Of 570 photos, roughly 550 have been stolen.

The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Video May Show Suicide Bomber Who Attacked Bus In Bulgaria

A screen grab from the surveillance video showing the man who it's suspected set off a bomb aboard a bus full of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria.
BGNES.com

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:43 am

  • Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reporting on 'Morning Edition'

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Europe
6:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Israel Suspects Extremists In Bulgaria Attack

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's learn more, now, about an attack in Bulgaria. Seven people were killed, we're told, among them, five Israelis, in a suspected suicide bombing. It happened at a seaside resort town called Burgos. More than 30 more people were injured by this explosion. Israel is calling it a terrorist attack and says it suspects Iran or Muslim extremists. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line, now, from Tel Aviv.

Hi, Lourdes.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Around the Nation
6:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Drought Hits Farmers And Residential Landscapers

The drought is beginning to really sink its teeth into the Midwest. More than three-quarters of the nation's corn acres are in a drought zone. In Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, corn crops are burning up and its causing commodity prices to shoot up. Suburban residents are paying to water their lawns, but it isn't doing much good.

The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu July 19, 2012

As Fighting Rages In Damascus, Survival Of Assad's Regime Is In Doubt

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday shows smoke billowing from burning tires and trash containers in Damascus.
AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition,' Liz Sly of The Washington Post and Renee Montagne

One day after three members of his inner circle were killed in an explosion, opposition fighters in Syria are continuing to put pressure on the regime of President Bashar Assad as clashes with government forces draw near to the his palace in Damascus, residents tell Reuters.

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Business
5:11 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Yahoo May Be Marissa Mayer's Biggest Challenge Yet

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to hear more now about the woman taking the reins of one of Silicon Valley's most famous and challenged companies. Marissa Mayer took the tech world by surprise this week when it was announced she was taking the CEO job at Yahoo. The buzz grew louder when it came out she's pregnant and planning on working during her maternity leave.

Mayer is known for being one of Google's first employees and its first female engineer. NPR's Laura Sydell has this profile of Mayer and what she brings to her new job at Yahoo.

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Around the Nation
4:45 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Civil Rights Group Struggles To Rebrand Itself

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The civil rights organization co-founded by Martin Luther King Junior meets in Sanford, Florida today for its annual convention. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has struggled in recent years with leadership battles and declining membership. Now members want to rebrand the SCLC. Here's NPR's Kathy Lohr.

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Africa
4:36 am
Thu July 19, 2012

U.S. Resident Caught Up In Sudan's Protest Movement

Rudwan Dawod stands in front of a school he helped build in Turalei, South Sudan. The Oregon resident is now detained in Sudan, accused of terrorism after he participated in protests there.
Courtesy of Nancy Williams Dawod

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 10:59 am

American Nancy Williams and Sudanese Rudwan Dawod met in South Sudan, where they were both working. The two fell in love and married, and they're expecting their first child in September. But while Nancy Williams Dawod is home in Oregon, her husband, who has U.S. residency, is in detention in Sudan, facing terrorism charges and possibly a death sentence.

He is due to appear in court next week.

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NPR Story
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Interest Rate Scandal Follow Up

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:01 am

An influential group of bankers comes up with the critical interest rate known as the LIBOR. The world uses it as a benchmark for how much to charge consumers on mortgages and other loans. For more on how the rate is set, Renee Montagne talks to Gillian Tett of the Financial Times.

NPR Story
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:01 am

United Airlines posted a deal last week that got Brian Kelly's attention. He writes a blog about frequent flyer miles called "The Points Guy." The flight he was looking at was to Hong Kong that would require four frequent flyer miles.

NPR Story
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

An Update On Syrian Bombing

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:01 am

The opposition in Syria delivered a powerful blow to President Bashar Assad's regime Wednesday. A bomb attack killed the country's top security officials. Renee Montagne talks to Liz Sly of The Washington Post about the ongoing clashes.

NPR Story
2:41 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:00 am

Egypt's former spy chief Omar Suleiman was appointed vice president at the peak of the democracy uprising in January of 2011. The official Middle East News Agency said in a brief report that Suleiman died at a U.S. hospital early Thursday.

Human Tissue Donation
1:33 am
Thu July 19, 2012

The Seamy Side Of The Human Tissue Business

Michael Mastromarino (center) appeared in a New York City courtroom for sentencing on charges of corruption, body stealing and reckless endangerment, as the mastermind behind a scheme to loot hundreds of corpses and sell bone and tissue for transplants.
Jesse Ward AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:01 am

Part 4 in a four-part series

The human tissue industry has created medical advances for millions of Americans. Tissue taken from cadavers is turned into medical products for the living. A tendon can be used to repair a torn ACL. Veins are used in heart bypass operations. Bone can be turned into plates and screws. They look like something you'd find in a hardware store, but these get used to mend a broken leg. It's a $1 billion-a-year industry that attracts the altruistic, but sometimes the greedy.

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Books
1:08 am
Thu July 19, 2012

A Network Head Reflects In 'Interview'

David Westin was the president of ABC News from 1997 to 2010.
Rene Macura AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 8:10 am

On Nov. 7, 2000, producers and editors at ABC News prepared to make a very public decision.

It was election night, with George W. Bush facing off against Al Gore. And it was, memorably, undecided until the early hours of the following morning, when other TV networks began calling the election for Bush.

David Westin, then the president of ABC News, recalls the agony as his network's elaborate election unit was beaten on the call — they had held back.

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Presidential Race
1:07 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Tax Professionals Scrutinize Mitt Romney's Returns

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Wednesday.
J.D. Pooley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 7:58 am

President Obama's campaign continues to hammer presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney over the GOP challenger's refusal to release more of his tax returns. Romney has provided one year's record and promised a second year's worth of returns. But even some of his fellow Republicans now say that's not enough.

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World
1:06 am
Thu July 19, 2012

The Cost Of Women's Rights In Northwest Pakistan

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 6:31 pm

Earlier this month, 25-year-old Farida Afridi, who ran an organization that provides information for women about their rights, was gunned down in the street, near the city of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan. No one has been arrested for this killing. In all likelihood no one will be.

On July 4, Afridi was leaving her home to go to her office in Peshawar. What happened next shocked the local community, says Zar Ali Khan, who heads a consortium of activist groups in Peshawar.

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Law
1:04 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Controversial Ariz. Sheriff's Tactics Go On Trial

A trial begins Thursday in Phoenix accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, seen in this May 3, 2010, file photo, of violating the civil rights of Latino citizens and legal U.S. residents.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 8:04 am

The self-proclaimed "Toughest Sheriff in America" is facing one of his toughest tests. A trial begins Thursday morning in Phoenix accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Latino citizens and legal U.S. residents. The class-action civil suit says the sheriff went over the line in his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

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Dead Stop
1:03 am
Thu July 19, 2012

A Muslim Cemetery Helps To Ease Funerals' Strain

At the Garden of Peace cemetery in Flint, Mich., Muslims are buried in accordance with traditional Islamic burial rites.
Sami Yenigun NPR

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:52 pm

The Garden of Peace cemetery opened when the Islamic community in Flint, Mich., needed a place to bury their dead in accordance with their religion. After operating for only a couple of years, the cemetery has already welcomed a diverse group of American Muslims.

Tucked in the left corner of an open field, on a breezy, buggy, warm summer morning in Flint, lie parallel rows of identical headstones. There are roughly 30 of them, all facing the same direction.

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Environment
4:28 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Interactive: Mapping The U.S. Drought

More than half the country is experiencing drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
NPR/U.S. Drought Monitor

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:40 pm

Texas experienced its worst drought on record last year. Now that the state is seeing some relief, drought conditions have consumed more than half the United States. Use this interactive map and chart to see how conditions have changed over time. Related story: 1,200 counties affected.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Service Members In Colombia Prostitution Scandal Won't Face Criminal Charges

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:35 am

Ten members of the U.S. military who were involved in the Secret Service prostitution scandal have received punishment but will not face criminal charges.

NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Those disciplined include seven soldiers and two Marines. They received administrative punishment that could include penalties such as loss of pay.

"Another Air Force member has been reprimanded and investigations are continuing against two Navy sailors.

"Officials say there will be no criminal charges.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:03 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Prostate Cancer Surgery Shows No Benefit For Many Men

Surgery for prostate cancer shouldn't be an automatic choice, a new study says.
iStockphoto.com

Finally, the results from a decades-long study that compared surgery for prostate cancer to careful monitoring have been published.

Overall, the researchers found no difference in rates of death from any cause, including prostate cancer, among men who had their prostates surgically removed compared to those who didn't.

Preliminary results were released more than a year ago.

The newly published conclusion:

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Is American Stalling On A Merger With US Airways?

US Airways CEO Doug Parker waits to be introduced prior to his address to a National Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Could it be that American Airlines CEO Tom Horton is resisting the warm embrace of US Airways CEO Doug Parker over a little thing like money?

During a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday, Parker didn't exactly shoot down suggestions that American's leadership has been stalling on a merger of the two carriers because of the potential for personal gain.

Asked whether Horton is focused on the payday he would get if American were to remain independent a while longer, Parker hesitated. For more than 8 seconds, his answer was: "Um. The. Uh. Let's see."

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Election 2012
4:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Portman A Low-Key Possibility For GOP Running Mate

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, campaigns with Mitt Romney in Cincinnati on Feb. 20.
Mark Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 1:34 pm

As the guessing game continues about Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman invariably comes up as a top contender. And with a wealth of experience in Washington and beyond, Portman would be considered a safe pick to run for vice president on the Republican ticket.

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Around the Nation
3:29 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

In Fairplay, Colo., Burro Racing Packs 'Em In

A skill in pack burro racing is convincing a donkey that it should run when it would rather walk. Racers may get behind the pack if they don't work with their animal.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 7:08 am

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Shots - Health Blog
3:29 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

HIV Cure Is Closer As Patient's Full Recovery Inspires New Research

Nurse Priscila-Grace Gonzaga with Gregg Cassin, a San Francisco gay man who has been infected with HIV since the early 1980s. He's a volunteer in a cutting-edge gene therapy experiment to see whether HIV-infected people can be given an immune system that is invulnerable to HIV infection.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 5:30 pm

Ask AIDS researchers why they think a cure to the disease is possible and the first response is "the Berlin patient."

That patient is a wiry, 46-year-old American from Seattle named Timothy Ray Brown. He got a bone marrow transplant five years ago when he was living in Berlin.

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Around the Nation
3:29 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Drought Brings Misery To Arkansas River Basin

A deer carcass lies on the dried riverbed of the Arkansas River in Lakin, Kan.
Frank Morris for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 6:19 pm

Drought has set in early and hard across the Midwest, parching the Arkansas River basin. The river trickling out of the mountains is dry before it reaches some of the major agricultural uses downstream. And the drought is torching crops, sapping tourism and threatening supplies of drinking water.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Using Hubble, Astronomers Spot Oldest Spiral Galaxy Ever Seen

An artist's rendering of galaxy BX442.
Joe Bergeron Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 4:29 pm

Astronomers made a surprising announcement today: They have found a spiral galaxy that existed very early in the universe — the oldest spiral galaxy ever seen.

The galaxy is special because such a well-formed spiral wasn't thought to have existed this early on, when the universe was tumultuous.

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It's All Politics
2:48 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

John McCain Tells Michele Bachmann To Lay Off Hillary Clinton Aide

Sen. John McCain defended Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, against accusations by several House GOP members that she has ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
C-SPAN screenshot

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 9:09 am

(Updated at 5:14 pm ET)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took to the Senate floor Wednesday in an apparent attempt to shame Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and other House GOP lawmakers who recently questioned whether a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was a fifth columnist for the Muslim Brotherhood.

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